President of the Republic, General Michel Aoun, received Energy Minister Walid Fayyad, and discussed with him the results of his efforts to secure fuel for Electricité du Liban from Iraq and Iran, which would raise the hours of electrical feeding and ease the burdens on citizens.
After the meeting, Minister Fayyad made the following statement:
“I met His Excellency the President to brief him on the progress that we are working for, especially in the electricity, oil and gas sector.
His Excellency put me in the positive atmosphere of the progress of work on the issue of border demarcation, and I understood from him that the positive conclusion is near.
We are following it to raise the hours of electrical supply.
In this context, there are developments in the Iraqi fuel file, and we will have a hypothetical working session tomorrow with the Iraqi party to work on the issue of specifications due to which the shipment of Iraqi fuel was delayed arriving in Lebanon.
I hope that this problem will be resolved after tomorrow’s meeting, and we obtain the remaining Iraqi fuel shipments, which amount to 190,000 tons, which we hope will arrive in the next two months, and then we will discuss with the Iraqis the issue of renewing the agreement to obtain fuel.
For this purpose we will visit Iraq, especially since Premier Mikati met his Iraqi counterpart recently in the United States, and they agreed on the necessity of a visit to Iraq to discuss renewing the agreement to obtain an additional one million tons of fuel, which can provide between 3 and 4 hours of electricity supply per day, for a year.
At the same time, His Excellency the President was briefed on the positive results of the technical delegation’s visit to Iran, as Iran committed itself to providing a donation of fuel to Lebanon, which could, with Iraqi fuel, increase the feeding hours to reach 8 or 10 hours per day.
We will now work with the Iranian side on the issue of specifications and securing the fuel we need at our stations.
I also had a phone call with the Algerian Minister of Oil, who expressed Algeria’s desire to support Lebanon in the issue of fuel, and invited me to visit Algeria to discuss this file, and this is what I will do in the second or third week of next month.
Finally, I discussed with His Excellency the President the issue of electric tariffs, after the Ministry of Finance issued a decision confirming that it has no objection to increasing this tariff, which will lead to reducing the electricity bill for citizens, because the official tariff for Electricity of Lebanon remains much lower than that of generators”.
Questions & Answers:
Question: When do you expect Iranian oil to reach Lebanon?
Answer: “Within days or weeks, because the Iranian side wants to extend a helping hand quickly in this area, and we urgently need to secure better electricity for the citizens”.
Question: What is the solution to the chaos of electric generators pricing?
Answer: “This issue must be addressed at the level of the Ministry of Interior, the Internal Security Forces, and the Consumer Protection Department in the Ministry of Economy. I am ready to meet with the Ministers of Interior and Economy to study ways to activate oversight on this issue”.
Question: Are there any developments in the file of Egyptian gas and Jordanian electricity?
Answer: “In this file, the World Bank is insisting on deciding the issue of the new tariff for the Electricity of Lebanon bill as a precondition before financing this project, in addition to initiating the procedures for appointing the electricity regulatory authority, to help us formulate the organizational structure of the regulatory body in Lebanon. When we finish these two files, we will have fulfilled the two basic conditions for the World Bank, after which we will enter the financing negotiations, which should have taken place last spring”.